Here to Serve, the local group that operates several restaurants across the Atlanta area, appears to be shutting down. A statement on the company's website reads, "We apologize for the inconvenience, we are working on reorganization. Hopefully we will be here to serve you again soon!" Here to Serve's corporate office did not respond to multiple phone messages seeking comment Tuesday morning, but a tipster tells Eater Atlanta, the company has "closed everything and everyone is out of a job."
Jimmy Meas, and executive sushi chef with Here to Serve, told WSB Radio payday was Friday, October 2, but employees had not received checks as of Monday evening. An email from H2SR president and CEO Leigh Catherall reportedly asked employees to "please accept our apology for the grave inconvenience of late paychecks this week. We have been working on this issue since 6 a.m. today."
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes the company, founded by retired local chef Tom Catherall, ex-husband to Leigh, may be facing issues related to a recent lawsuit. Leigh Catherall took control of her former husband's company as part of their divorce settlement last year.
The closing may have its roots in a federal court lawsuit by the owners of Phipps Plaza and Lenox Square in Buckhead, which wanted Twist at Phipps and Prime at Lenox evicted from the malls, claiming prominent chef Tom Catherall had breached the leasing agreement.
Restaurants that fall under the Here to Serve umbrella are Coast Seafood and Raw Bar, Noche, Prime, Shucks, Smash, Strip, and Twist. The company previously shuttered Shout, Goldfish, and Aja in the last year.
Update: October 6, 10:45 a.m. A Facebook page has been set up to help out-of-work Here to Serve employees find new jobs.
Update: October 7, 9 a.m. Restaurants around Atlanta are opening their doors to potential employees from Here to Serve. Many jobs are being posted on Twitter with the hashtag #H2S2WORK.